Lockheed Martin personnel are touting the company’s ability to produce and deliver F-35 aircraft amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The firm recently delivered the 123rd F-35 aircraft of the year. In 2020, 74 F-35s were delivered to the U.S. military, 31 to international partner nations, and 18 to Foreign Military Sales customers.
“The F-35 joint enterprise team rapidly responded to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic to continue to deliver the unmatched combat capability the F-35 brings to the Warfighter,” Bill Brotherton, acting vice president and general manager of the F-35 program, said. “Achieving this milestone amid a global pandemic is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the team and their commitment to our customers’ missions.”
The company indicated it took proactive measures to mitigate COVID-19 supplier impacts while positioning the program for the fastest possible recovery by adjusting employee work schedules, maintaining specialized employee skill sets, and providing small and vulnerable suppliers with accelerated payments.
The F-35 plays a critical role in the current global security environment. More than 1,200 pilots and 10,000 maintainers are trained for the F-35, and the fleet has surpassed more than 350,000 cumulative flight hours.
Nine nations have F-35s operating from a base on their home soil, nine services have declared Initial Operational Capability, and six services have employed F-35s in combat operations.